Dancer Named Film Festival Finalist

Whitney Thompson

Senior Whitney Thompson ranked in the top 14 for films submitted to the 2014 Dance Shorts Student Film Festival.

From the July 2014 Desktop News | A University of Alabama senior was named among the top 14 choreographers who submitted short, dance-focused films to a national film festival this year. Whitney Thompson, a dance and biology major from St. Clairsville, Ohio, shares the honor with graduate students, teaching assistants and other undergraduates across the country.

The Dance Shorts Student Film Festival was the first of its kind and was sponsored by the University of South Florida. It highlighted up-and-coming “techno-choreographers” whose films could incorporate any combination of music, lights, costumes and location with dance and film technology. The entries were judged by invited professionals within the dance and film communities.

“Dance for film is something that I am very interested in,” said Thompson, who made her short film while taking a choreography class her sophomore year. “I already had a piece ready that met the requirements for the festival, so I thought, ‘Why not?’ and sent it in. My cinematographer and I changed a few minor details before we submitted.”

The film, titled “Love Has No Limits,” was inspired by articles Thompson read about gay rights.

“In the piece, there is one lesbian couple who starts off afraid to move together due to fear of judgment, and a straight couple who dance together but with a sense of struggle,” she said. “The entire work is meant to demonstrate that a heterosexual couple has the ability to get married, but they may be completely wrong for each other and end up divorced. Simultaneously, there may be a same sex couple that seem magical together but are unable to wed.”

The dancers included Thompson, Tara Lynn Steele, Tiffany Heimbach and Rickey Morgan. The film’s cinematographer was Rhys Butler.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect when I submitted my film, but I couldn’t have been happier that I was named a finalist,” she said.

See Thompson’s film at www.vimeo.com/87051703. For more information about the festival or to see the other wining films, visit www.danceshortsfestival.com.